Im not much into the opening weekend hype with so much water year round water on the Au Sable and in Northern Michigan. But I do know many anglers do like to come to this area every year on the last Saturday of April. Also there is a number of very cool small streams and creeks that do open up! Like most years in late April the dry fly fishing is just not happening. A small trickle of hendricksons is not a hatch and then there is also olives and midges coming off. Look to the first and second week of May for this hatch.

Currently the fishing has been very good on the Au Sable and so many options this time of year! Streamer time for Brown Trout – throughout the upper river and down in the Big Waters above and below Mio Dam. Water temps are in upper 40’s now which is ideal for trout and still a nice stain from spring run off which is ideal. Yesterday we hit some nice Browns floating the mainstream and overall had good action!

streamer time on the upper Au Sable
streamer time on the upper Au Sable

This time of year 7wts are ideal with a sink tip fly line. My favorite fly line on the the Au Sable is the Airflo Streamer Max short. Yesterday our top streamers were Great Lakes Deceiver, Slop Mop, Chromatic Peanut and Woolhead Sculpin. For color chartreuse/white, black and yellow all produced.

Another great option for this time of year is steelhead fishing in the lower river. Good numbers of steelhead are around now and fresh fish continue to move in from Lake Huron with every rain. The Au Sable gets the latest run of Steelhead in the lower peninsula with all of the cool weather of late should be good numbers thru at least mid May.

Look to the deep gravel runs for fresh run steelhead and post spawing drop back fish. Both of these can be very aggressive and will eat egg patterns, nymphs and streamers.

Great time to streamer fish the lower river as these late run steelhead will crush a streamer and there is still some nice Atlantic Salmon in the river. The very lower river coming into the area around the piers and the river mouth has been very good of late also! Lake Trout, Atlantic Salmon, Smallmouth Bass, Coho, Browns and Steelhead have all been caught here of late. With recent stocking of young steelhead (5-8″) that are starting to come out of river into Lake Huron now so many fish are looking to feed heavy in this area. Make for ideal conditions for the streamer angler!

In the cool weather its always a hot lunch in my boat!